Wednesday, June 02, 2010


June is the month that will mark the one year anniversary of bringing baby G home. It will mark the anniversary of shoving clothing and supplies into suitcases, and packing and repacking for a trip of a lifetime half way around the world. June will mark the anniversary of when we became a family of 5, a family including a daughter, and the dawn of insanity. In this past year, we have added a child, bought a new house, and I graduated nursing school. Too much in one year, but nothing I would change. We have had CHALLENGES, sad times, happy times, and times when I questioned my mothering skills (and still do). 3 children is crazy - much crazier than 2 - 'nuff said. I cannot get enough of African adoption stories, even though I am living one. I sit crying at my computer reading blogs of people at every stage in the process. I mourn the loss of that process, but do not think I would have the strength to do it again. I am maxxed out at 3. Maybe in another life...

Here's the chaos, love, and children that make my heart happy

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I am thankful for

Mothers who love their children enough to recognize when they cannot parent them. Children who have the will to survive despite all odds. A country that sees the flaws in its system and allows these children to be raised by others in another country. I am thankful for my boys and my daughter, and all the hard work it took to get them here however they arrived. I am thankful for my hard working husband, who supports me at every turn in the road. I am thankful for 2 year olds crawling into bed with me at night. I am thankful for 7 year olds who sass back, but are so kind hearted to the core. I am thankful for my spunky little girl who challenges me all the time, but apologizes with a smile that can melt your heart. I am thankful.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Coming Clean

O.K. All you fellow AP's out there - don't hate me, or think less of me for this post. I have been struggling lately with the situation surrounding Baby G's abandonment. While we were in Ethiopia we found out that she was in a different orphanage for the first 5 mos. of her life before getting to Horizon House. We originally thought that she had been abandoned at ~6mos old. How on earth does a child like her live in an orphanage for that length of time and not be adopted out? I know, I know, we are very lucky to have her and it was all meant to be... la de dah. I would not have it any other way. I have contacted our agency to find out more about this first orphanage that she was at. We asked for all the info when we were in Ethiopia and nobody had anything other than what we had already seen. How is this possible? Don't other orphanages keep records of the children they have in their care? The person at the agency that I have contacted seems to have a lacsidasical attitude about the whole thing. I asked her 2 mos ago if we could, indeed, have the info from her file from the first orphanage that she was at. She'll ask. Whatever. So I try to imagine what her birth mother must have gone through - having to abandon her child (perhaps she passed away during childbirth or shortly after - we'll never know) when she (Baby G) was so young. I cannot imagine this woman. I cannot imagine Baby G as the child of anybody else but us. I know that many AP's find that the information about birth relatives is absolutely priceless. I just don't feel a desire or a connection to that sort of information. People have grieved the loss of birth mothers on mother's day and birthdays. I do not. I look at Baby G and I might as well have given birth to her, I feel as she has no connection whatsoever to any other woman on this planet. Is that wrong? I'm not sure if that is callous or unfeeling. But it is how I feel.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

one of my favorite connections in the Bible

A real man, a real boy, walked up the mountain together—the young man bent under the wood for the burnt offering, the father striding behind, carrying the fire and the knife. “But where is the lamb for the sacrifice?” Isaac asked.

“God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son,” replied Abraham.

We have heard the story before. We know how it ends. But what if we didn’t? What if Isaac had been our son, the fulfillment of a promise God had made to us? Could we have traveled for three days to Mount Moriah, the place of sacrifice, dreading the moment and yet walking steadily toward it? Could we have taken the knife in our own hand, willing ourselves to obey the command we did not understand and wished we had not heard? It is hard to read the story without imagining how Abraham must have felt. Was his hand shaking as he held the knife? Was his mind reeling under the burden of the terrible command he was about to obey? It is not hard to imagine his agony.

But have you ever considered it from God’s point of view?

Watching the man and his son, did God feel something tearing at his heart, knowing that what he asked but did not require of Abraham—the sacrifice of his only son—he would one day require of himself?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

We're Home

Ahhhh the joys of life. I sit here and drink my Ethiopian coffee as I write this and listen to Lazy Town. The Big Guy has taken Baby G and Flippity out for the morning so Licks and I can hang out here for a bit.

Our trip was absolutely amazing. I want to go back, and wished I didn't have to leave when we did. I am glad to be home, though, because I missed my boys desperately.

When we left on Sat morning for Ethiopia, I did not want to go. I felt like I was being forced out the door and on to a series of airplanes. I was not ready. Much like the experience of giving birth - totally prepared but just not ready.

When we landed in Addis and got off the plane, I was expecting something big - some sort of feeling or distinct smell or something. Didn't have it. We already had our visas so there was no standing in line, thank God. We looked for Mulat (driver and saint) and he found us. We made our way to his van and piled in. The Big Guy and I were the last of our group to arrive so we got the van all to ourselves. I was totally unprepared for the driving experience of Addis. I had been warned of it before and even seen footage, but until you actually experience it.... We had begging children running up to the van and asking for money. They were saying things like "I love you mommy" and "Barack Obama". We gave them nothing. Mulat must have thought the looks on our faces was comical, because with a smile on his he said something out the window to the children who quit begging.

It was a short ride to the guest house, and I was suprised at the location of it - down a long alley only wide enough for the van to fit. When we arrived at the guest house, Mulat showed us our room right away. I stood frozen in fear in our room for several minutes. My heart was going to pound right out of my chest. After finding the paperwork we needed The Big Guy grabbed the video camera, we hugged each other, and found our way to the living room where several people were finishing dinner. They all asked us who our child was and everyone was sooooo glad that we were there for her. They said she really needs her mommy. That made me feel good. Mulat asked us if we wanted to meet Baby G. Of course! Someone in the group offered to video it for us and we made our way through the dark to a room of babies. I saw her before we entered the room because her crib was right next to the door which was open. She was asleep. There she was, just as peaceful as could be. The nannies insisted on waking her up. All I could do was stare at her and cry. She woke up right away and looked at us dazed. I think the babies are used to being woken up at all hours of the night, so its really no big deal to them. All of the nannies came to watch our meeting. It was so heart warming. Baby G recognized Mulat right away and a huge smile came to her face. She just sort of melted into both of us and it was all over at last.

Over the next few days we had lots of stuff to keep us busy. Monday we went to the US Embassy to apply for a visa for Baby G to leave the country. Tuesday several (like 20) babies were scheduled to get vaccinations. We were lucky enough to go with and witness that. Mulat was fabulous at the clinic with holding the babies who were getting injected and comforting them when they were done. It was not hard to see the love and kindness in people there. Wednesday was shopping which I ended up leaving early from because I did not feel good. Thursday was more shopping and Friday was the coffee ceremony and packing to leave. We got some great stuff while shopping and spent nearly $400. I was glad to do it. I wish I had purchased more. We were really only there for 5 days since we got in late Sunday night and had to leave Friday night. The flight home was much better than the flight there. We originally purchased only 2 seats for the flight home, but after meeting Baby G and realizing how active she is, we knew we needed another seat. Thank God for small miracles because the flight was full on the way home so we were standby for most of the week. Thursday when I called the agent she did have another seat available. Baby G was great on the flight home, I am impressed that we all kept our wits about us since flying like that with lack of sleep can do anyone in.

Our homecoming and welcoming committee was fantastic! Flippity ran up to us as soon as we cleared the escalators. I cannot even describe the joy in my heart to have all of my children together in one place. Licks was a little more apprehensive, as we knew he would be. Being displaced as the youngest has to be hard. We had several people from church who made awesome signs and my parents, and sister were there to greet us as well. What a fantastic feeling to finally be home and have all the waiting and worrying over. I feel like a weight has been lifted from me and I am free....

Friday, June 05, 2009

This is it!

Tomorrow we board the plane to Ethiopia. It is so very hard to leave children behind. A fellow blogger said that after you say goodbye, just don't look back. Eyes on the prize. All of it still seems surreal that in several hours my feet will be on a different continent. This baby that people keep sending me pictures of is going to be in my arms soon - she's actually real. I suppose its a bit like giving birth, only not as painful. I remember having the same out of control feeling before giving birth to both boys. I remember feeling 'just a little bit longer, I'm not ready yet'. But I am also a person who likes to dive in head first without testing the waters, so I know I'll be O.K. Besides, I'll have the Big Guy with me and he is quite calm in situations where I can't be. This is not like going to Disney World folks!